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Traffic Safety Tips


Slow Down, Move Over!

Did you know that since 2006 there were 186 deaths of police officers who were struck in traffic accidents? More recently, during a traffic stop, one of our police cars was hit by an approaching vehicle. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured.

We ask you to keep us safe by driving carefully. As shown below, slow down, move over when safe to do so, and pass the officer carefully at least 15 mph under the speed limit:

move over

Alabama Law requires you to move over one lane when traveling on a four lane road, or, if it is unsafe to do, you must slow down to at least 15 mph below the speed limit. On a two lane road, you must move over as much as possible without leaving your lane and you must slow down to at least 15 mph below the speed limit. When the speed limit is 20 mph you must slow down to 10 mph.

The speed limit on the UAH campus is 25 mph which requires drivers to slow down to 10 mph or less when passing an officer. Speed limits on Sparkman Drive, University Drive, and Holmes Avenue are 35 mph and 45 mph. Drivers must slow down to at least 20 mph or 30 mph when passing an officer. Remember, some roads are four lane roads and you must, if it is safe to do, move over one lane.   

Click on this link to find further information: http://dps.alabama.gov/Documents/Images/MoveOver_Full.jpg


What To Do If You Are Pulled Over

pull over

If a police officer stops your vehicle on the street, he or she has a reason. The officer may suspect that you are in violation of a law. It’s also possible that a crime was committed nearby and the officer thinks that you might be able to help. UAH Police Officers ask you to:

  • Pull over and stop where the officer directs you to do so.  The officer will only stop you at a safe place.
  • Stay in your vehicle, remain seated, and do not open doors.
  • If it is dark, turn on the interior light.
  • Turn off your engine.
  • Keep your hands visible to the officer and avoid fast, furtive movements.
  • Wait for the officer to approach.  Do not exit your vehicle unless the officer asks you to.
  • Provide the officer with required documents first.  Give the officer a chance to review the documents and explain why he or she stopped you.
  • In any circumstance, you certainly have the right to ask questions of the officer.  If the officer has not told you why you have been stopped, you may inquire after you have handed requested documents to the officer.
  • Step out of the vehicle only when asked to do so.
  • Remember that all citizens have a right to contest the officer's decision, such as a traffic citation, before a judge or magistrate.  Certainly, you can speak with the officer's supervisor about his or her decision.  However, the time and place of the stop is not a safe and appropriate location to argue your position.

Pedestrian Crossing Safety Tips for Drivers

Pedestrians in a marked crosswalk have the right of way and motorists must yield to them.  It is important for drivers to be aware of crossing pedestrians at all times, whether they are in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Obey the posted speed limit and always be prepared to stop for pedestrians who may not see or hear you. It is the driver’s responsibility to maintain a safe speed when driving through residential and school areas. You should always avoid aggressive driving and never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk. When turning, be alert for pedestrians and give them the right of way.  Look both ways down sidewalks and in front of you before exiting parking areas.  Pedestrians can enter the crosswalk in front of you while you are waiting for a gap in traffic.

Holmes Avenue HAWK Pedestrian Crossing

The City of Huntsville, in cooperation with UAH, has installed a new HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) signal in front of the new Charger Union Building.  A HAWK system's traffic control lights do not activate until the system is activated by a pedestrian.  Activation by a pedestrian triggers the warning flashing yellow lights for oncoming vehicle traffic. After a fixed amount of time, the traffic light changes to a solid yellow to alert drivers to prepare to stop. The HAWK signal will then display a dual solid red light to drivers and a walking person symbol to pedestrians. Near the end of the walk phase, the traffic signal switches to an alternating flashing red light.  Pedestrians are then shown an upraised hand symbol with a countdown display informing them of the time left to cross. When the alternating flashing red lights begin, drivers may proceed after coming to a full stop and making sure that there are no pedestrians in their lane of travel. Each vehicle is legally required to come to a full stop and allow any pedestrians in the crosswalk to exit their lane of travel before proceeding during the alternating flashing red phase.

HAWK-2The new crosswalk on Holmes Avenue, coming from Sparkman Drive, is behind a curve and partially obscured by trees. Because the crosswalk connects north and south campus, a large number of pedestrians use this route to reach buildings on both sides.  The speed limit in this area is 35 mph. Please watch your speed, prepare to stop, and be aware of pedestrians.